|Glacier Protection Law Holds and Mining Companies Must Reveal Impacts|
Barrick Gold, the company that had proposed dynamiting glaciers and hauling them off in dump trucks so they could get at gold reserves at their Pascua Lama project, suffered a major setback today in the Argentine National Supreme Court. An injunction order originally granted to Barrick by a local federal circuit court judge suspending the recently approved National Glacier Act, was terminally revoked. The glacier law is now back in full force for Barrick and other mining companies operating in Argentina.
Mining companies investing in exploration activities all along the Andes mountains were quietly awaiting the ruling by the Argentine Supreme Court which issued an 8 page verdict today stating firmly that the glacier law holds and Barrick and a slew of other mining companies exploring for minerals in the high Andes mountains, will now have to file glacier impact reports on their operations and adhere to the law. If they are found to be in glacier areas, or impacting glaciers, according to the law, they will have to redesign their projects, or worse, pack their bags and go home.
Occupy Toronto Highlights Affected Community Voices in 24-hour protest Against Barrick Gold.
Protesters, joined by Occupy Toronto, rallied outside of Barrick Gold's Annual General Meeting this year to demonstrate their opposition to the Toronto-based company. Many activists had spent the night outside of convention centre that hosted the meeting the night before as a 24 hour sit-in protest against the company.
This year, Amani Mhinda came from Tanzania to speak out against Barrick's abuses in his country. Despite holding a legal proxy to attend the meeting, his entrance was denied. Speakers from Balochistan and Argentina also spoke out against Barrick Gold and other Canadian mining companies. Powerful statements were read from the Diaguita Huascoaltinos Indigenous community in Northern Chile and the Porgera Alliance from Papua New Guinea. This year, the protest was also joined Students from the Student School, who targeted the park across the street from the Metro Convention Centre last night.
For the past five years, impacted communities have been speaking out at Barrick's Annual General meeting.
Read Press Release about Amani Mhinda's illegal exclusion from the Barrick AGM
Porgera Alliance statement read at the Barrick Gold AGM.
Diaguita Huascoaltinos Statement for Barrick Gold AGM.
Read article about The Student School's decision to support the Barrick Protest as a school.
Listen to Audio from the protest.
Once a year, the board of Directors of the world's most powerful gold mining corporation converge in downtown Toronto. Join us and representatives from mining-impacted communities to... CONFRONT BARRICK GOLD!
WHY PROTEST BARRICK?
The group SalvaTierra took a non-violent direct action this morning in front of the building where the multinational mining corporation Barrick has part of its offices in capital city, Santo Domingo. It declared its support to dozens of environmental and social groups that have already expressed their opposition to megamining in the country and joined the campaign by the Latin America Mining Conflicts Observatory (OCMAL) to ban cyanide in the whole region.
In their statement, the group warns that: “Mega open pit mining is an activity whose enormous scale entails major environmental impacts, such as the destruction of large forests, the massive consumption of fresh water and electricity, the production of acid drainage, and above all the use of large amounts of highly toxic substances”. Amongst the latter they highlighted cyanide, which Barrick is planning to use for processing 24,000 tons of mineral daily in the Pueblo Viejo mine currently under construction.
The Center for Human Rights and Environment (CEDHA), along with several local and international groups presented today an Equator Principles Due Diligence Review to two export credit agencies considering financing Barrick Gold’s highly controversial Pascua Lama gold project, straddling the border between Chile and Argentina. The review argues that Pascua Lama is in direct violation of the Equator Principles, which are global norms laying out conditions for responsible investment. The 45 page critique of Barrick’s Pascua Lama project, brings together existing and new evidence showing innumerable social and environmental norms violations by Barrick’s operations at both Pascua Lama (which is set to commence in the near future) as well as at the adjacent project Veladero, also by Barrick.
On Friday, in Washington D.C., the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights will hear a complaint against the Chilean State, lodged by the Diaguita Huascoaltinos Indigenous and agricultural community. This case, admitted in February of 2010, claims that the government violated the community's Free, Prior, and Informed Consent (FPIC), and did not consider comments submitted by the Diaguita Huascoaltinos in the environmental assessment process that approved the mine. The claim also states that Barrick’s claim to land on and near the Pascua Lama project on the border of Chile and Argentina relies on a series of fraudulent land claims to collectively held-Diaguita Huascoaltinos land.
The Porgera Land Owners Association (PLOA), in partnership with the Porgera Alliance released a report today detailing the case for the urgent resettlement of their people away from Barrick’s Porgera mine. The report covers the health hazards associated with living close to the mine, as well as enumerating the human rights abuses caused by mine security. The report also recounts the history of the mine’s agreements with the local community, revealing a pattern of neglect of the community’s free, prior and informed consent at nearly every stage of the mine’s development.
This report follows investigations and reports published by Amnesty International, Harvard Law, Human Rights Watch, and the Norwegian Government all detailing the dangerous conditions near the Porgera mine. However, this report stands out as a comprehensive look at the history of the Porgera mine, from the perspective of the landowners who have led negotiations with the company.
The police army, on 16th May 2011 intentionally shot dead five people in Nyamongo-Tarime and inflicted seriously bodily harm to many others alleging that they invaded one of the Barrick Gold mines at Nyamongo-Tarime district.
As part of its work, LEAT sent a special research/fact finding mission to collect facts regarding Nyamongo-Tarime massacre and impunities reportedly taking place on 16th May 2011. The fact finding mission composed of Mr. Stanslaus Nyembea (LEAT) and Evans Sichalwe (LHRC).
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Confrontations between local people and mining security are not uncommon near Barrick's North Mara mine in Tanzania. As Bloomberg journalist Cam Simpson reported in his feature story about the mine, "Security guards and federal police allegedly have shot and killed people scavenging the gold-laced rocks to sell for small amounts of cash, according to interviews with 28 people, including victims’ relatives, witnesses, local officials and human-rights workers."
These conflicts take place in the context of forced displacement, destroyed livelihoods and farmlands, and the on-going poisoning of local residents that characterizes Barrick's North Mara mine.
Join us for the...
May 9th: Hamilton, Skydragon Centre, 27 King William,
Mining Injustice Solidarity Network is pleased to invite you to the
third conference on the impact of Canadian mining on local communities
throughout the world, which will take place the 6th - 8th of May of
2011, in Toronto.
WHEN: Wednesday 27 April 2011 @ 10.30AM
WHERE: Metro Toronto Convention Centre, 255 Front Street West, Toronto
As part of the growing Peter Munk out of the University of Toronto campaign over 100 University of Toronto students, joined by professors and US Academic Noam Chomsky, protested a donation from founder/chair of Barrick Gold, Peter Munk ... read more
A report released today by Human Rights Watch confirms allegations of gang rapes and other human rights abuses by security guards of Barrick Gold’s Porgera Joint Venture (PJV) mine in Papua New Guinea (PNG).
In May 2009, toxic waste from a gold mine located in North Mara, Tanzania, spilled into River Thigithe. Reports from the surrounding villages alleged that 20 people and from 700 to 1,000 head of livestock died from the contaminated water. The company that operates the mine, African Barrick, denied that the spillage led to the deaths of villagers, and Barrick's spokesperson said recently that there are no more problems with the river. But villagers living in Tarime district claim they are still experiencing health-related illnesses from the water. There are also reports that a number of people have been killed by security forces belonging to the company. Zahra Moloo reports in this audio piece [mp3].
This video is a speech from Barrick Gold's founder and chairman, Peter Munk, at the company's shareholder's meeting last year. The only thing that we added were the photos from Barrick's operations around the world, to expose the delusional and misleading nature of Munk's words.
On Sunday 21 November, Wiradjuri Traditional Owner, Neville ‘Chappy’ Williams, Friends of the Earth campaigner, Natalie Lowrey and photojournalist, Conor Ashleigh took an aerial flight over Lake Cowal.Lake Cowal is an ephemeral lake which has a wet and dry cycle of 20 years. The past 10 years has seen the central western NSW region where Lake Cowal is situated in drought, but many like Wiradjuri Traditional Owner, Neville ‘Chappy’ Williams has warned of the big wet seasons. In the past 6 weeks this area has seen huge amounts of rainfall, Lake Cowal is 75% full of water. Once paradise to much wildlife and leisure time for locals, Lake Cowal now has a large open cut pit penetrating into it lake bed.
PhD grad Masrour Zoghi used his graduation to protest the increasing corporatization of the University of Toronto, by rejecting his degree from the institution.